Introduction, Design Features
Intel expelled a “Skylake-X” and “Kaby Lake-X” processors customarily this summer, underneath a incomparable powerful of a company’s new Core X-Series processors for enthusiasts. (See, for example, a examination of a Intel Core i9-7900X, for a stream top-end chip in a line that we could buy during this late-July writing.) And no surprise: Motherboard aristocrat Asus already has during slightest 7 new play sporting a claim Intel X299 chipset compulsory to run a Core X-Series CPU. A few of them are shipping underneath Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand, including a examination theme here today, a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, that was offered for $349.99 during Amazon as we wrote this.
The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming is an ATX motherboard with a arrange of opinion you’d pattern from gaming hardware. Although it doesn’t have utterly as many “armor” as a Asus TUF models, or utterly as many fan facilities as a entirely tricked-out ROG Rampage boards, a X299-E Gaming is no lightweight.
If you’re spending this kind of dough, it’s expected that a house like this will see some overclocking action, so Asus stocked it with an array of inner fan headers (and a ability to supplement support for even more). The motherboard builder also devised a pointy heatsink for your M.2 storage and enclosed several heat sensors, one of that is on a cable, so we can immigrate it as needed.
And nonetheless a cost of this house might chuck some users, it translates to a plain underline set, including support for both front and back USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, mixed headers for strips of RGB lights, and steel-wrapped PCI Express slots. The house also has built-in ascent holes for tradition 3D-printed accessories, that is a DIY treat. Let’s take a closer look.
Asus motherboards mostly have a tough, armored demeanour to them: dim colors accented by pointy angles and copiousness of metal. The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming is a ideal instance of this design, sporting several heatsinks and metal-braced PCI Express slots, a latter being 2017’s signature of a premium-design motherboard. The board’s tough design would be undermined by overloading it with LEDs, so Asus seems to have exercised some patience in peppering a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming with RGB LEDs.
That’s not to contend that we debate of a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s lighting choices. The cover over a common I/O-port cubes (in a pic above, tapering down from a tip left corner of a board) has a long, pointed splinter of an LED able of displaying mixed colors during once. It’s grand and doesn’t detract from a pointy lines that make a cover demeanour as yet it were forged from stone.
The customarily other vast LED on a house is a banner-like light that displays a “ROG” name. It sits in a core of a board, customarily above a tip PCI Express slot, that should make it really manifest from many PC box windows. And, like a LED on a I/O cover, a ROG LED supports Asus’ Aura Sync lighting software, that lets users emanate tradition lighting profiles, both for a motherboard and for any Aura-friendly hardware. If lighting is your thing, we can buy memory modules and other inclination that support Aura Sync to emanate an considerable light uncover in your PC case.
Most new-model high-end motherboards have during slightest one header for RGB LED strips. The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming good exceeds that. It has dual customary RGB headers (one during a tip of a board, another during a bottom), any of that supports adult to 120 dissimilar LEDs. The house also has an addressable header, that is useful for developers operative with the recently expelled Aura SDK beta.
One of a initial things we beheld about a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s pattern is that a house doesn’t have lights on a chipset heatsink, that is customarily a primary aim for LED-bling doing by house designers. If this pattern choice outlines a change divided from chipset-heatsink lights, we cruise it would be since chipsets mostly finish adult partially lonesome by video cards these days. That was generally loyal of a MSI X299 SLI Plus, an X299 house we reviewed right before this one, that had a heatsink light intrigue that was vaporous as shortly as we commissioned a singular massive video card.
We can do though chipset lighting, though we cruise Asus missed an event to supplement a little additional bling when it skipped LEDs for a heatsink above a LGA 2066 CPU socket. (LGA 2066 is a new hollow employed by a Core X-Series processors.) This heatsink is in full perspective from many PC box windows.
Speaking of a CPU socket, Asus kept a area around this one remarkably uncrowded. The LGA 2066 hollow is flanked on possibly side by 4 memory slots, with adequate space between a slots and a hollow to accommodate massive CPU coolers with side overhang…
The X299 chipset supports adult to quad-channel memory configurations. In dual-channel mode, a slots accept adult to 64GB of DDR-4133 memory. Quad-channel configs double a max memory ability to 128GB and also support DDR-4133 modules.
Asus done some engaging choices when it combined a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s dual M.2 connectors. One of a connectors sits between a dual reduce PCI Express x16 slots. That’s a standard plcae for an M.2 slot, and we prefer a container to be there, contra in a space customarily subsequent a tip PCI Express slot, that can be tough to strech once a video tag is installed. (And in an X299/Core X-Series PC, a video tag is a necessity, given that a CPUs don’t have on-chip graphics we can tumble behind on.)
Board-integrated M.2 heatsinks are smart (not to mention, functional), so we’re not astounded to see one on a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming for this initial M.2 slot. Asus combined a possess pattern develop to a heatsink by creation it a partial of a X299 chipset’s incomparable heatsink. It’s a cold look, quite since Asus used a whole chipset/M.2 heatsink aspect for a ROG eye logo…
This specific M.2 connector supports M.2 procedure sizes adult to Type-2280 (80mm long), that is reasonable, as this is a many common length for mainstream M.2 drives.
The other M.2 connector is in an surprising location. Asus put it on a side of a board, nearby a right-most bank of memory slots. Unlike a initial M.2 connector, a connector faces true adult from a board, that means that it can support M.2 PCI Express device lengths adult to Type-22110 (110mm long), if you’re peaceful to have an M.2 procedure adhering true adult and out toward your case’s window. The procedure gets trustworthy to a joint that screws into a board, like so…
In a opinion, that’s customarily fine; a some-more manifest a hardware is, a better.
The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming has copiousness of enlargement slots, and it supports adult to three-way SLI or CrossFireX. We don’t see scarcely as many three-way video-card builds like we once did (due in no little partial to restrictions on three-way SLI configurations with Nvidia’s latest-gen “Pascal” video cards), though we positively have no complaints about a gaming house with extended support for impassioned video-card configurations. You might not devise on one now, though later, when a cost drops on a second tag matching to a one we have, it might be a some-more viable awaiting for you.
As we remarkable adult top, Asus wrapped a 3 PCI Express x16 slots in steel to strengthen opposite a aria of holding complicated graphics cards aloft. The 3 x16 slots also support Intel’s Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC), around discretionary PCI Express cards hosting your SSDs. (For some-more on what we know about VROC so far, see a examination of a Intel Core i9-7900X.) The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s other enlargement slots embody a PCI Express x4 container and dual PCI Express x1 slots.
A heatsink with “SupremeFX” etched into it covers a reduce left side of a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming. Under it is a Realtek S1220A codec that handles a audio output. Asus matches a codec with program and other facilities to emanate a SupremeFX package, that delivers a 113dB signal-to-noise ratio.
The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s behind I/O row is surprisingly uncluttered, though it has a many critical features, including a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port. (Type-C is a new, oval kind with a reversible connector.) The row also has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A pier (the regular, rectilinear arrange of USB), as good as dual USB 2.0 ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet jack. One of a USB ports doubles as a “BIOS Flashback” port, that lets we refurbish a BIOS though even booting a PC. Put a BIOS refurbish on a peep drive, block it into a BIOS Flashback port, and press a BIOS symbol (at a really finish of a I/O panel) for 3 seconds to get a BIOS round rolling.
The row also has connectors for a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s Wi-Fi antenna, that lay customarily alongside a pattern of audio jacks. What’s blank from a I/O row picture? A PS/2 port, for one thing. Many motherboards (and gaming play in particular) keep a bequest PS/2 pier around for comparison keyboards that use it to yield N-key rollover. Serious gamers infrequently find out keyboards (or possess an aged favorite) with this underline so they can press mixed keys during a same time though formulating missed inputs. But in a 2017 board, we cruise this a flattering teenager omission.
Many of a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s competitors—including a MSI X299 SLI Plus and Gigabyte’s X299 Aorus Gaming 9—offer some-more back-end USB ports and a PS/2 port, along with a second Gigabit LAN pier if you’re meddlesome in surplus connectivity or experimenting with channel bonding. (To be fair, a MSI X299 SLI Plus doesn’t have Wi-Fi, that a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming does.)
Asus installed a house with 7 fan connectors, including one for a siphon fan for your CPU cooler and another that can hoop a second H2O siphon (such as for a dissimilar graphics-cooling loop in further to a one for a CPU). The motherboard builder widespread a fan connectors around a board, giving we copiousness of coherence when we devise your PC build. Two connectors lay during a tip of a board, dual some-more lay nearby a left-hand memory slots, and a others lay nearby a bottom of a motherboard. On tip of that, a ROG Strix X299-E Gaming has an prolongation header so we can insert a fan-header prolongation tag to benefit we some-more headers.The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming’s reduce corner is crowded, though Asus did a good pursuit of gripping a header labels where we can see them. One of a board’s dual USB 3.0 connectors sits during a bottom of a board, subsequent to a USB 2.0 header that can bond to an discretionary USB joint for a behind of your PC that adds some-more USB ports to a behind panel.
An Asus Q-Code debug LED and a little energy symbol lay during a core of a board’s reduce edge, providing some simple collection for users to occupy when a PC isn’t booting properly. Asus skipped a sometimes-gimmicky overclocking buttons that mostly seem on gaming boards.
Asus combined 8 SATA 6Gbps connectors, that face off a right side of a board. You can see them here, and to their left is a header for a VROC hardware pivotal Intel will sell to capacitate VROC if we wish to go that extreme-RAID route…
Asus put a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector above them (near a normal 20-pin USB 3.0 header confronting off a house to a right) for a really latest PC cases that might have front-panel USB 3.1 ports. You can see here this new header that a attention has staid on for these connectors (alongside it is a tag “U31G2_E3”)…
Older cases won’t have a wire that we can block into this really new kind of header, though it’s a future.